5th training seminar under third phase of the CUTS-FES Joint Programme on “Involvement of Consumers in Power Sector Reforms in Rajasthan”

  • This seminar was primarily aiming at; sharing some successful experiences of the CUTS-FES programme and their reliability; identifying the roadblocks to successful people’s participation in reform process; to workout a broader framework for successful people’s participation in electricity distribution in next phase of CUTS-FES programme.
  • About 45 representatives of grassroots civil society organisations from each block of the Alwar District attended the programme. The programme started with CUTS representatives, on behalf of CUTS/FES, sharing the agenda for the programme and the outcome so far in terms of creating awareness among consumer groups to get them their rights in the state of Rajasthan. Shri B. N. Sharma, Chairman & Managing Director of Jaipur Vidhyut Vitaran Nigam Limited could not make for this seminar as had to leave to New Delhi for personal reasons, at nick of the time.
  • Shri Lal Chand Rathore and Shri Shiv Narayan of Village Piplod, District Jhalawad, were special invitees to the seminar to share their experience of people’s initiative for implementing power sector reform and reap the benefits. In a highly interactive session, Shri Rathore explained in detail that how people of their village were in deep trouble two year ago, not getting enough electricity and that too of poor quality. The illegal theft was rampant in the village and as result of that it was not possible to get adequate electricity to irrigate the crops as well as illuminating the households. This was severely affecting not only the crop production in the village but the studies of children too. The transformer that sulpplies to the village got burned 16 times in a month.
    • Determined to improve the situation, Shri Rathore who is Sarpanch of village Piplod received the required inputs from various sources and called for a meeting of the entire village collectively decide not to allow illegal pilferage of electricity. Small groups of 10-15 households were formed and they invested to install coated cable, which is quite tamper proof, and owned the responsibility to ensure smooth function. Two years after that initiative, now people are quite happy for getting adequate supply without interceptions. The electricity transformer that supplies to the village has not burned even once in last two years.
    • Following this successful experience, the nearby village Kisanpura has also stepped in to the similar path and enjoying the benefits of uninterrupted electricity supply like Piplod. The participants of the seminar found this case very interesting and high level of curiosity was generated among them. The presentation was followed by array of questions and answers. The key determinants for successful implementation of such initiatives were discussed at length. It was also analysed that how such examples could be replicated at larger scale.
  • Shri Niranjan Sharma of SOHARD shared his experience of executing the learning he got from the CUTS-FES workshop organised last year. He explained that after getting the detailed ‘know how’ as well as other requited information on installing solar lighting system from the seminar, he got installed the same lighting system first at the office premise of this organisation.
    • He emphasised upon having similar programme on electricity reform too however cushioned that the framework for people’s participation must be decide by extensive consultation with the community. Shri Sanjiv strongly suggested for initiate a direct partnership with people and electricity Distribution Company in the district as was very optimistic about the positive outcome.
  • Then members of the ‘Vidhyut Sudhar Samiti’ form Village Kyara and Dera shared their experience. These case studies explain the prevailing apathy and insensitivity at Distribution Company’s part. They explained to the participants about the initiative taken up by CUTS-FES last year to develop Kyara and Dera as ‘Model village’.